In this IIoT Talks Dialogue series, Echelon CEO and Chairman Ron Sege builds on questions and answers covered during Echelon’s IIoT Talks with industry luminaries, providing his own commentary, insight, advice, and other thoughts.
From conversation with Scott MacDonald, co-founder of McRock Capital:
Question from Echelon: Would you say the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is here to stay as a market category?
McRock Capital: I think the IIoT moniker will stick, as it relates to the whole area of machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, software analytics, and all the value that comes out of it, from non-consumer devices.
Ron Sege responds:
The ‘IIoT,’ meaning industrial devices connected together to monitor and control the real world, has been around under a variety of names for many decades. In fact, Echelon itself has been developing solutions for industrial and commercial connected applications for many years.
What is being anticipated today, and talked about under the new heading of IIoT, is an acceleration of the benefits of deploying connected devices in industrial settings. This is for a variety of technical reasons: The cost of the components to make a connected device has fallen; connectivity, via cellular and wired connections, has become near ubiquitous; and cloud-based analytics platforms can track and analyze data in near-real time. This acceleration is also the result of a very important business reason: Commercial and industrial businesses everywhere face hyper-competition these days, which means they are demanding real-time process optimization for high customer service and low cost. Only connected devices can deliver this benefit.
Given our heritage and our passion, Echelon is excited about the potential of the IIoT market, and we’re pleased that the ‘IIoT’ terminology we initiated has become the accepted way to refer to the important portion of the IoT that’s devoted to industrial applications.
Over the past year, as we’ve refocused our foundational control networking platform toward helping companies migrate toward the IIoT, we’ve visited nearly 100 of our top commercial customers and partners, listening closely to be sure we understand their challenges and opportunities. With more than 110 million Echelon LonWorks and LonTalk nodes shipped into smart grid, smart building, and smart city applications over the years, our customers and partners have a wealth of real-world experience to draw from.
We heard a few things quite consistently. Our customers:
- See a big difference between the consumer IoT and the industrial IoT, with the IIoT requiring the highest levels of reliability, scalability, and security
- Want to leverage IIoT benefits without having to ‘rip and replace’ the many existing devices already connected to traditional control systems
- Are not interested in creating additional versions of their products to support new protocols such as IPv6; in fact, they would like to reduce the number of protocol-, or language-specific models they offer
- Value the extremely high reliability of wired solutions such as our Free Topology, but also need wireless connections
- Are enthusiastic that Echelon has chosen to apply our deep knowledge of device networking and control, developed over the past 25 year, to this IIoT market segment
The tangible result of our findings is our IzoT™ platform for the IIoT. It is built on IP and supports a number of the historic protocols that connect some 1 billion devices in the world today. It is proven scalable to millions of devices. It is a peer-to-peer distributed system and so can operate at the highest levels of reliability–with or without connectivity to the Internet. It recognizes connected devices and their capabilities so is easily configured and commissioned. And, because it is a complete architecture, it gets designs to market faster and at lower risk.
I encourage you to contact Echelon to learn more about the IzoT platform and how it can help both new and legacy industrial devices participate in the benefits of the growing IIoT market.
You might also like:
- IIoT Talks: McRock Capital: Differences Between the Consumer and Industrial Internet of Things
- IIoT Talks: Mc Rock Capital: Landscape of the IIoT
- Echelon IzoT™ Platform for the IIoT